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Walnut Cupcakes with Praline Frosting

September 2, 2011

I collect cookbooks and have enough magazine recipe tears to start a small bonfire. Hazard of the job I suppose, but they really come in handy when I get an itch to bake and want to try something new. If food could whisper a season, I think the cupcakes I baked this week would say “Fall”. In truth, they contain no Fall specific ingredients, yet somehow they seem perfect for a lovely September day.

Walnut Cake with Praline Frosting
Yields: 16 Servings

9 ounces All-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
7 tablespoons Butter (softened)
1 cup Granulated sugar
1/4 cup Brown sugar (packed)
2 large Eggs
1 large Egg white
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 cup 1% low-fat buttermilk
6 tablespoons Walnuts (chopped, toasted)
Cooking spray
1/2 cup Brown sugar (packed)
6 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk (divided)
2 tablespoons Butter
1 tablespoon Light corn syrup
1 dash Salt
3 1/2 cups Powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Walnuts (chopped, toasted)

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2 To prepare cupcakes, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring well with a whisk.
3. Place 7 tablespoons butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a mixing bowl; beat at medium-high speed with a mixer until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in egg white. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in 6 tablespoons walnuts.
4. Spoon the batter into paper liners in a 12-hole cupcake pan until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the cake bounces bake when touched. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes and then remove from pan to finish cooling on the wire rack.
5. To prepare frosting, place 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 2 tablespoons butter, corn syrup, and dash of salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook 2 minutes. Scrape brown sugar mixture into a bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons milk and powdered sugar; beat with a mixer at high speed 2 minutes or until slightly cooled and thick. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Allow frosting to set for approximately 5 minutes. Place wax paper under wire rack before you begin frosting the cupcakes. Spoon frosting over cooled cupcakes; sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

Kate’s Thoughts

I have adapted this recipe from it original form as a cake recipe and adjusted the recipe for the frosting as best as possible. You will find it can be a little runny and needs time to set up before you frost the cupcakes. The cupcakes will only last a day or two, not only because they are so delicious and everyone will want to eat them, but also because the frosting will begin to soak into the cake. It will not affect the taste, but it creates a bit of a mess.

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